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Interview: Dr. Nidhi Trehan, Vice Chairperson of American Montessori Public School in Gurgaon
Vice Chairperson of American Montessori Public School (AMPS) in Gurgaon, Dr.Nidhi Trehan holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and was an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Public Policy and Political Science, University College London. She is currently based in India, where she has been a Visiting Fellow at Delhi University and looks after the management of AMPS.

American Public School was established in 1995 in DLF City Phase-II, to impart quality education imbibing Montessori Philosophy and methodology along with traditional education. The school is located close to the Delhi - Jaipur highway. The school offers warm intimate environment combined with modern day facilities for students emerging into rapidly changing world.

Here are the intercepts of the interview with Dr. Trehan about the school and the admission procedures being followed.

Question (Q):
How do you classify American Montessori Public School? Is it an International school or a World school?

Nidhi Trehan (NT):
AMPS is a globally conscious, progressive school grounded in the Montessori philosophy. Located in picturesque L-Block of DLF City Phase II, AMPS was established in 1995 by Mrs Lalita Trehan, a renowned educationist trained in the Montessori method from the United States to impart quality education with the right blend of traditional and progressive orientation. It has since grown into a CBSE Affiliated Senior Secondary, co-educational, English-medium school with a very proficient staff and a good supporting infrastructure. AMPS has all three streams - Science, Commerce and Humanities - in order to give the students a wide spectrum of career choices and opportunities.

Q: How different is your school from other progressive schools in Gurgaon?

NT: AMPS imbibes the Montessori philosophy and method in the early years. Its motto 'Where children are important', is reflected in this as our young ones are allowed freedom of movement and are free to choose materials and exercises enabling self-paced, individualized learning in a guided, nurturing environment.

Q: What kind of educational philosophy do you follow?

NT: The American Montessori philosophy is based on respecting the child and this is at the center of our learning environment. At AMPS we recognize that each child is unique and deserves to realize his/her own potential, and we call upon our teachers and parents to value the individual traits and talents of the child, with a view to facilitating all round development. Dr. Maria Montessori illuminated us with this profound insight… "A child's work is to create the man he will become. An adult works to perfect the environment, but a child's work is to perfect himself". Practical life exercises teach care of self, thereby inculcating respect for other living things and the environment. We have fully equipped Montessori classrooms in the early childhood years; Classes I & II incorporate enrichment classes in the Montessori Lab, particularly in the areas of language, Maths, and Culture (Science, Geography and History). Acquiring information in this manner is a natural and delightful way of learning for the young child who employs all her senses to investigate her surroundings. These activities form the basis for the curriculum which develops necessary skills to prepare them for life. An AMPS education prepares your child for life, giving him/her a solid foundation from 2 ½ years to 5½ years of age. The environment is designed to stimulate the child's interest and facilitate his/her understanding and learning capacities spontaneously. A child can unfold and manifest the greater person within as he/she matures through developmental stages. As the child begins to develop the inner self, his love for life and learning expands. He/she develops a sense to pride in his/her work and a feeling of confidence and joy begins to manifest itself, as a "new child" is born.

Q: What kind of innovative teaching procedures are followed by AMPS?

NT: A Montessori classroom is a joy to watch. There appears to be a spirit of respect, love and co-operation amongst the children. Our curriculum covers the areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, Geography, History, Science, Music, Dance, Drama, and also Arts and Crafts. In the Montessori wing, our child-focused, hands-on education helps in the development of inner discipline, independence, and a positive self-image as he/she is respected as a total unique person who is allowed to work at her/his own pace.

Q: In Delhi, an NGO has submitted a draft bill to the AAP government and suggested barring schools from interviewing a child for pre-primary and preschool and also his/her parents. What's your say on this issue?

NT: At AMPS we have an interaction with both the child and her/his parents, but we do not conduct a formal interview as such. It's important to meet the child and also learn about their home environment. We view the educational process as an interactive triangle: the child, the parents and the School. When all working in concert, then the child's educational experience is enriching and fruitful. It's important to familiarize ourselves with the child's background so that we may tailor her/his learning needs to the School environment (eg. English as a second language, separated/divorce parents, etc.)

Q: When you take students into AMPS, what are the things you look into the child for?

NT: Factors such as emotional and social preparedness are important.

Q: Are you going to participate in the educational fair to be held at the Epicenter? If yes, then what are your preparations for it?

NT: Yes, AMPS has been participating for several years now. It is a good way to highlight our programme and our unique features. The accompanying School Guide booklet is also useful for parents.

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